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Monday, 15 May 2006

The TNIV in Acts 5

Counter As promised . . .
The proponents of the TNIV would have us believe that is more accurate to translate andr- as 'men and women' than just as 'men', on the theory that in Acts 17:34, a woman named Damaris is mentioned as included in the referent of that word. Thus on the questionable recommendation of a single verse, a change was made to the entire Testament which contains it. They have not admitted to it, nor am I accusing them of it, but it does look as if the CBT hired a computer programmer to do a global search-and-replace to make all male references into something less specific. Certainly they seem to have left no such change unmade wherever it were possible to make it--and even where it is fairly ludicrous as a translation, such as in Acts 2:29 where andres is rendered 'sisters'!

The point is, the Greek language is perfectly able to express terms like "father and mother," "brother and sister," and "men and women," and the Scripture in fact does use such expansion when the Spirit felt a need to be that unambiguous. The CBT computer translation program, if ever there was one, didn't cope very well with such cases where its work had already been done for it; for instance, in Acts 7:2 the word andres was untranslated altogether, while the rest of the verse was left as it was--including the word 'father' in reference to the Jewish progenitor Abraham! Again, we wonder why the search-and-replace function was never programmed with the perfectly acceptable English word 'ancestor'. One may object that this verse was unchanged from the NIV--but rest assured, it did not escape the revisers' attention; the very last word of the verse has in fact been retouched.

There is a word in Greek that stands in contrast to presbut-, a word typically translated 'elders' even in the TNIV, but in English this carries a more specific meaning than just that of an older man. And in fact, even in the KJV, it is sometimes translated 'older men'. Specifically in Acts 2, 1 Timothy 5, and Titus 2, it is so translated where it is in contrast with ne-, another word that both the KJV and the TNIV always translate as 'young' or 'younger' men.

Well now, they don't either. Sometimes one of these words will be in the femine gender, in which case they are always translated in the TNIV as 'older' or 'younger' women. So also the KJV, and what is wrong with that? Nothing, of course, except that the TNIV is supposed to avoid using the masculine gender whenever it isn't absolutely needed. So why the 'young men' in Acts 5 who carried away the bodies of Ananias and Sapphira for burial? Since their gender is never so much as implied, much less specified, why couldn't these young people have been referred to as 'young men and women', or at least 'youths'? It is, after all, their AGE, not their GENDER, that is being emphasized by the use of ne-.

Perhaps the bigoted translators on the CBT thought young women too frail to help carry out a corpse.

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